Anxiety After a Car Accident " Judy a pleasant 31-year-old woman "

Case study ( 21005 views as of June 15, 2024 )

Judy, a pleasant 31-year-old woman who has recently become single and who works in a government office, was involved in a major motor vehicle accident and was hospitalized for three weeks and suffered anxiety after the car accident. She fractured her right elbow, left pelvis and was left with some significant scarring along her left cheek. In addition to this accident, she found out that her mother had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. It has been a very difficult time for her and her the entire family. Judy visits her family doctor because she is concerned that she cannot return to work. She is anxious as well as agitated and sullen.

Judy could benefit her condition by seeing a psychologist for behavioural therapy to help with anxiety - both general anxiety and anxiety due to her car accident. She might also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist for a different approach to her anxiety. She would benefit from education on what anxiety is and how to treat it so that she can engage herself as a partner in her care. She would benefit from ongoing treatment with a physiotherapist for her motor vehicle accident. She could benefit from seeing a plastic surgeon to address her scarring. Lastly, she might benefit from pilates or yoga for both relaxation and in helping her mobility issues which were caused by the motor vehicle accident.


Conversation based on: Anxiety After a Car Accident " Judy a pleasant 31-year-old woman "

Anxiety After a Car Accident " Judy a pleasant 31-year-old woman "

  • If you tend to worry a lot, even when there’s no reason, you may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD means that you are worrying constantly and can’t control the worrying. Healthcare providers diagnose GAD when your worrying happens on most days and for at least 6 months.
  • People can develope PTSD after a traumatic event such as a car accident, particularly if there were deaths involved or traumatic injury. The DSM5 defines a traumatic event as exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Examples include: Being involved in, or witnessing, a car accident, Undergoing major surgery (bone marrow transplant, extensive hospitalization, or severe burns), Experiencing or witnessing natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or fire,) Violent crimes (kidnapping, physical assault, or assault or murder of a parent or loved one), Community violence (attacks at school, or suicide of a friend, family member, or a child in the same-age group,) Chronic physical or sexual abuse. If you have been in a serious car accident and you feel you may be suffering from PTSD, don't be afraid to go to your family doctor to ask more about the symptoms of PTSD.
  • 7 Common Anxiety Symptoms People Experience Many people wonder what anxiety feels like. While it’s different for everyone, there are some common anxiety symptoms that people experience. 1. A Sense of Panic Some people even visit the emergency room during a panic attack because they’re convinced that they’re having a heart attack or are dying. Panic attack symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, tightness in your chest, a feeling of choking, nausea and a fear you’re going crazy. 2. Sleep Problems If you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), it can keep you up at night. You may stay awake overthinking and overanalyzing situations or get into a cycle where fatigue makes you more anxious as you get more and more overtired. 3. Muscle Pain When you feel stressed for an extended period of time, your body may start to tense up. During a panic attack, adrenaline often pumps through your body, constricting your blood vessels. If your muscles don’t receive proper blood flow, it can lead to aches and pains. 4. Restlessness People with anxiety are constantly responding to the fight or flight system, even though there is no real danger. With so much adrenaline coursing through your body, restlessness is generally the result. Restlessness can also be caused by a feeling of dread or danger, common during panic attacks. 5. Excessive Worrying Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, whether you worry about family, your job or money. But if you have generalized anxiety disorder, you get into a cycle of constant worrying and negative thinking that interferes with your daily tasks. 6. Loss of Control One of the most common anxiety symptoms is a sense of losing control. You may feel that if you can’t control everything in your life that something bad will happen. Worrying can exacerbate your sense of losing control, such as worrying about what will happen if you lose your job or if a family member dies. 7. Difficulty Focusing If you have generalized anxiety disorder, the worrying and rapid thoughts can distract you from daily life. Sleep problems, restlessness and muscle pain can exhaust you physically, also making it hard to keep your mind on your job, family or hobbies.
  • I've heard that behavioural therapy is good to treat anxiety, especially when triggers are associated with it. Seeking out a qualified specialist could be really helpful.
  • It's been 8 years since my car accident and I still occasionally experience anxiety in the car. It seems more likely to be an issue when I have other stress going on in my life. Her mother's cancer might be a contributing factor in why she is struggling right now
    • My mom was in a car accident last week and still has anxiety over the crash.
  • I would think talking to a therapist of some sort would be helpful. A face scar is a daily reminder of the trauma. And finding out sad news about her mother is likely tied together in her mind with her own accident, making it loom larger. Discussing it all with someone would hopefully alleviate some the anxiety she feels.
    • @ShirleyG we practiced a technique that I'm sure has a technical name but she kept referring to it as "bring it to the now" So I would be having anxiety about what MIGHT happen and would instead force my mind to examine what's happening now - right now I'm safe, right now I'm not in danger, right now nothing is hitting my car. If I did it early enough it stopped the anxiety attack, if not it allowed me to keep it at a level where I could function with it. I used it in connection with breaking my drive in to parts. I can get off at the next stop, no I'm still ok I can get off at the next stop. By breaking my drive in to segments it allowed me to feel like I had control over it.
    • K. Michael, what sort of techniques were your taught ?
    • Seeing a therapist after my car accident helped me tremendously with my anxiety. It's now been 7 years and I only have occasional issues in the car. I use the techniques I learned in therapy when that happens.
    • I agree that some form of therapy would be helpful for her to move past this trauma.
  • The vast majority of people who have headaches have tension headaches, where most people think tension means tension as in stress emotionally. And although that can have an effect on how you feel, when a physician uses the term tension headache, what we mean is tension in the muscles in and around the head. So it's actually a muscular condition.
    • In a case like a car accident does it usually have more muscle damage on one side of the neck versus the other.
    • I'm just curious about your comment on tension headaches. I do suffer from headaches for unknown reasons. Based on your comment that they are muscular in nature, or that the muscle tension is causing the pain, would it help to get some type of head/neck/jaw massage? I usually take Advil or Tylenol to relieve the pain but am wondering if this might help prevent getting the headaches?
    • I agree with both Dr Lum and Nicole in that loose and strong muscles will really help with tension headaches. Seeing a sports medicine doctor and physiothapist is a good plan.
    • This would explain why I find relief from headaches after a chiropractic adjustment
    • I really thought that meant tension as in stress. Very interesting.
    • Does the location of the headache have any significance?
  • Ear Acupuncture is very affective first, due to the significant pressure points and second, due to to them being on either side of the brain and therefore having very close interaction with the brain. Anyone can learn to use the points to massage the ears with the fingers (acu pressure) in fact, it is a very good practice to do first thing in the morning to wake up the brain.
    • My husband learned how to do ear acupressure while trying to quit smoking. He found it helpful when he felt stressed and was craving a cigarette. I can see it having the same helpful effect on anxiety
    • Which is better for stress... Ear acupuncture or acupressure?
  • Judy could also benefit from having Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy. Acupuncture treatments especially if it includes Ear Acupuncture. Ear Acupuncture is used all over the world to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Addictions and other stress triggered conditions. Cupping Therapy will detox the muscles to increase circulation as once circulation is improved, the mind calms down.
    • Would Cupping Therapy be similar to using foam rollers or massaging the muscles? I know rolling is usually used when muscles are sore after a workout, but it seems plausible that breaking up the facial tissue that is causing tension may help with relaxation and improving circulation as well.
    • For cupping for anxiety do you mean you light a cotton ball on fire then place it in a cup? That does sound a bit scary to me too!
    • I would be interested in learning more about ear acupressure as related to anxiety.
    • I'll be honest, cupping therapy sounds very scary and painful!! Is it?
    • Yes, my sister used ear acupuncture when she was an addiction treatment program. It was very successful for her. So strange to think that the ear is related to wanting to use drugs or alcohol!
    • Is ear acupuncture helpful because of the pressure points in the ear ? Would a person that suffers from anxiety be able to learn which points in the ear to stimulate to help them through anxiety attacks ?
    • Cupping Therapy is a very ancient practice of using glass cups placed on the body over muscles to detox the area of stagnant blood and energy (poor circulation). The technique involves using a lit alcohol soaked cotton ball which is inserted into the cup to take oxygen out which allows the cup to suction to the skin bringing up part of the muscle. I use massage oil first to allow me to move the cups first which is very soothing and relaxing. Then I will place the cups stationary along the muscles in question, in this case the back. This detoxes the muscles and clears stagnation to provide increased circulation through the whole body. Increased circulation and relaxation, will allow anxiety to be reduced or eliminated. As well, the cups are also stimulating acupuncture points and meridians which provide their own healing properties.
    • Julianne, I'm just wondering what cupping therapy is? Can you elaborate on this? What does it involve? Thank you.
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